Bank of America Business Advantage Credit Card Review
This review is meant to help you decide if the Bank of America Business Advantage is right for your business. This family of credit cards has rewards that fit within the needs of most companies, with a tiered system that can boost rewards in categories of your choosing. Plus, an additional boost to earnings is available to Preferred Awards for Business Platinum Honors members.
About the Bank of America Business Advantage Credit Card
There are three credit cards in this family of cards (Business Advantage). Two of the cards offer rewards, either for cash back or travel points. The third card offers a lower interest rate.
For the Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards credit card, members have the option of choosing among six categories. The highest-tier reward rate will be applied to purchases made within this category.
For the Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards, members earn points on travel-related purchases, which include hotels, airline, and car rentals.
The Platinum Plus card is for business owners who want to save on the interest rate charged. The rate is one to two percentage points lower than the other cards in this family of cards.
The best card to choose will depend on the circumstances of your business. If you make a majority of purchases in a few of the six categories qualified for the 3% cash back bonuses, then that may be the best choice. If you’d like to have credit towards travel purchases, the Advantage Travel Rewards world can offer great benefits to your business.
The Platinum Plus can be used for business owners who want to save on all purchases and are less concerned with points or cash rewards. This card is the simplest to use as it doesn’t involve any levels of rewards.
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Benefits and Rewards with Bank of America Business Advantage
The Business Advantage Travel Rewards MasterCard will benefit business owners who travel frequently. With this card, you’ll earn three points per every dollar spent.
For the Business Advantage Cash Rewards MasterCard, the categories included are as follows:
- Gas stations (default)
- Office supply stores
- Television, telecom, and wireless
- Business consulting services
- Computer services
If your business makes frequent purchases in the above categories, you can choose one of them per month to earn more rewards.
For dining, the cash rewards card is eligible for 2% cash back for up to $50,000 in spending. After that level, dining reverts to the 1% unlimited rewards on all purchases outside the listed categories.
Bank of America has a Preferred Rewards program that can boost the benefits of Business Advantage rewards cards. This program is geared towards businesses that spend $20,000 or more. If your business spends $100,000 or more, it’ll be eligible for the Premium Rewards Platinum Honors. The rewards levels in this program are extensive, and details of the program are given on Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards page.
Pros and Cons
The pros and cons of the Business Advantage credit card will depend on the perspective of business owners and their business circumstances. For instance, if you don’t travel much for business, then the travel benefits on either card (cash card has travel as a category) won’t be considered a pro. Instead, the cash rewards card may serve your needs more appropriately. The following are some of the pros and cons of these cards.
Pros of the Bank of America Business Advantage Credit Card
- The Business Advantage Cash Rewards card allows its members to choose up to six categories to earn the highest level of rewards. The rate for earnings at this level is 3%.
- Travel is one of the categories for the cash back card. If a small amount of travel is common for a business, choosing this category to earn the 3% makes sense. For significant travel, however, the travel card may be a better choice.
- The travel rewards card doesn’t charge fees for foreign transactions, and there are no blackout periods. Points can be redeemed for travel-related items or for cash and gift cards.
- Members who spend $20,000 or more will be eligible for boosts in the rewards cards. For example, if your business spends $100,000 or more, some of the rewards are boosted by 75%.
- All Business Advantage credit cards are eligible for 0% introductory interest rate. For the rewards cards, this rate is for the first nine months and for the Platinum Plus, it’s for the first seven months. Members are eligible for a $300 sign-up bonus on the Business Advantage Cash Rewards card and the Platinum Plus card. For the Business Advantage Travel card, members receive a sign-up bonus of 25,000 miles.
Cons of the Bank of America Business Advantage Credit Card
- The six categories for the Business Advantage Cash Rewards are convenient for businesses that make purchases within those categories. However, a category must be chosen each month and is locked in for the month. For business owners who spend in multiple categories, the locked-in categories can be frustrating.
- The default category for the cash rewards card is gas stations. If business owners forget to change the category, they are stuck with the gas category for the month. In a company that travels by vehicles frequently, this can be beneficial. For others, however, it may not be useful.
- The different tiers for the cards can be confusing to business owners who prefer simplicity.
Alternative Small Business Credit Cards
For business owners who want to save on the interest rate charged and aren’t concerned as much with receiving cash back or travel points, the Platinum Plus MasterCard within the Business Advantage family may be a better choice. The interest rate is usually 1% to 2% less than the rate charged on the other cards in this card family.
If you don’t mind traversing through the complicated rewards maze, the rewards-based cards in the Business Advantage family of cards can work for your business. For high-spending businesses, the Preferred Rewards program will boost these rewards even further, albeit with more complications. You’ll need to manage your categories for the cash rewards, but the amount you earn could make it worth it to do so.
Reviewing your purchasing patterns over the past several years may show patterns to help you with choosing the proper categories each month. If you don’t want to deal with tiered rewards, you may consider choosing the Platinum Plus card.
If you’d like help choosing a business card, we can help you at Fora Financial. We specialize in helping small business owners find the right financial solutions to make their businesses thrive. We can do the same for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the boost in rewards of the Preferred Rewards available to Platinum Plus cardholders?
The boost is only available to Business Advantage rewards cards. Platinum Plus cardholders can evaluate whether the benefits of rewards cards will yield better results than the Platinum Plus card benefits. The complete benefits are listed on Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards page.
Why would a business choose the Platinum Plus card?
The Platinum Plus card does not offer rewards. For business owners who don’t wish to deal with complicated tiered reward structures, this card may be the right choice. It also offers free cards for employees. Their purchases are eligible for a lower interest rate.
What credit rating is needed to qualify for the Business Advantage family of cards?
No specific credit rating level is mentioned on the offer page for Business Advantage. However, in the footnotes, it states the following: “All credit cards are subject to credit approval and credit card account limits are subject to creditworthiness.”
Can businesses still get a credit card with low credit scores?
It will be more difficult for business owners to obtain a credit card when their credit scores are low. However, it’s not impossible. At Fora Financial, we published an article that can help business owners who have low credit scores to obtain a credit card.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.